I was sitting across from her trying to stay focused on what she was saying but I was fading in and out and her tits were the only thing keeping me afloat. I was bobbing up and down in an ocean of bored shitlessness and I was going to have to get up and leave before I drowned. She was still talking. The shape her mouth formed caught my attention and snapped me out of my stupor. Did she really just say what I thought she had said? Only seventeen minutes had passed since we had met and I was somewhat taken aback by the audacity with what I now suspected she had just dropped on me. I didn’t want to hear it, but I had to, so I asked her to repeat herself. “Oh, I’m writing a novel,” she said and I wanted to punch her in the face. She was the thirty-seventh woman I had spoken to that week and they were all writing a goddamn novel. “What’s it about?” I said and now I wanted to punch myself in the face.
“Oh, it’s speculative fiction.”
“How far in are you?”
“Oh I’m still researching.”
“What’s there to research? It’s speculative fiction.”
“Well, I can’t just start writing.”
“Have you ever written a book?”
“Several,” I said and she couldn’t tell if I was being serious. That’s how I liked it. I wanted to order another drink, but I’d already had two because she was so goddamn boring. She didn’t seem to give a shit that I might be an alcoholic. I was floating now and my fear of drowning had somewhat subsided. “What have you written?” she said.
“Just stuff that comes out of my head.”
“Can I read it?”
“No. It’s out of print.”
“All of it?”
“Yeah. I’m niche.”
“Well, my novel is a about a girl.”
“Aren’t they all?”
“Aren’t all novels women like you write about girls? Girls that you base off yourself except you lack the trauma that you so badly want because you think that’s what makes a writer. You think everyone might benefit from hearing about what happened to you except the worst of it is maybe fucking the wrong guy after you had too much to drink one night,” I said and she just stared at me. I had ruined everything. Oh well. “It’s speculative fiction, you arsehole. I’ve already written my autobiography,” she said.
“I wish you luck with your sophomore publication,” I said and stood up. She stayed seated and just stared at me in utter shock that someone had not been intrigued enough to want to have a conversation with her about something she so desperately wanted to talk about. The tits weren’t worth it.
Outside the rain had stopped and steam gently twisted and floated off the road with the grace of an erotic dancer. It was summer. Groups of women were gathered wherever I looked. Talking and laughing. Most likely discussing the novels they were writing. Were they all writing the same book? It was possible. None of it mattered though. They’d all congratulate each other and chalk it up as a win while secretly bitching each other out to a select few from their most inner circle. “Wow, did you read that shit? It’s just like Candy’s novel, which was a rip off of Brandi’s novel if we’re all honest,” they would say. My phone rang. It was her. “It’s about a dystopian future where women are oppressed,” she said.
“My novel,” she said
“Of course it is,” I said and hung up. I decided to go home and write a novel about a woman writing a novel. I was confident this had never been done before.